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Omega 6 Benefits: Complete Guide to Omega 6 Fatty Acids

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
  • While including fat in your diet is often villainized, we actually need healthy fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in order to function properly. 
  • Omega-6 fatty acids are essential for our brain health, growth, and metabolism, among other things, and they’re found in foods like nuts and seeds.
  • Those aren’t the only fatty acids that you need: C15:0, an odd-chain saturated fat, supports mitochondrial function, bolsters red blood cell health and much more, and if you’re not getting it in your diet, you can supplement with fatty15.

The ideology surrounding fat and fat intake has been confusing at best. You have likely heard all of the following beliefs:

  • “Fat is bad and causes cardiovascular disease, don’t include it in your diet.”
  • “Actually, some fats are okay, like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, be sure you get those fats in your diet.”
  • “Fat isn’t as bad as we thought, it’s just saturated fat that is bad. Don’t include saturated fat in your diet.”

These are just a few of the statements you’ve probably been exposed to in the past few decades, and because of these statements, you probably have some pretty mixed up views about fat, what it is, and whether you should be including it in your diet. We think it’s time to help you better understand what is known about fats today.

A Brief History of Our Relationship with Fat

Before 1977, the American diet consisted largely of red meat and whole fat dairy products like full fat milk and butter. The problem, however, was that certain sects of the population (mostly older men) were dying from cardiovascular disease(think high blood pressure, heart attack, and clotting issues). In an effort to remedy this problem, the government issued dietary recommendations that included avoidance of dietary fat, especially dairy fat. Unfortunately, a study from 2015 showed that there was a lack of sufficient evidence to support that removing fat from our diets would help our heart health.

By the late 90s and early 2000s, the change in our diets was quantifiable in terms of the amount of dairy and fat we were not consuming compared to the lower fat products we were consuming, like plant-based and skim milks. At the same time, we began to see a rise of diseases, normally reserved for older populations, in our kids (who incidentally weren’t consuming full fat dairy).

By the mid-2000s we saw a big push for more inclusion of the polyunsaturated fatsomega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our diets. The apparentbenefits of omegas took the stage — support for our immune system, anti-inflammatory effects, and the heart support we were looking for (evidenced by the American Heart Association’s encouragement to eat fish twice a week) . Because of dietary guidelines in the 70s, we just weren’t getting enough.

Around the same time that a 2015 study started to debunk the fat/heart disease correlation, researchers began discovering that some saturated fats, specifically odd-chain saturated fats (like C15:0), were actually associated with good health benefits. In fact, one extensive 14-year study showed that people who ate more C15:0 had a lower overall mortality rate

The most important takeaway is that we now know for certain that not all fats (including some saturated fats) are bad for us. In fact, they are essential to our health.

What Are Omega-6 Fatty Acids?

The essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids were first discovered by a husband and wife team more than 90 years ago. Their discovery led to research that these fatty acids were essential to our bodies on a cellular level. The three main omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Our cells use this intake of omega-6 and omega-3 to help support functioning cells. 

While our bodies tend to need a ratio of omegas — with more omega-3 than omega-6 — we usually find more omega-6 in our diets than omega-3. Both omega fatty acids play a crucial role in our brain health.

In fact, the brain is made up of roughly 60% fat, so it’s important that we take in these types of fat to support our brain’s health. While the focus for decades was taking fish oilsupplements (usually derived from fatty fish such as mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and salmon) and Omega-3s, let’s look at omega-6 fatty acids. 

Omega-6 is beneficial to our bodies when consumed in proper proportions. However, new research shows that too much Omega-6 can be harmful to our bodies. 

Omega-6 fatty acids differ from omega-3s — they are considered proinflammatory when the ratio of their intake exceeds omega-3. As Omega-6 exists in many of the foods in the Western diet, the ratio can easily become imbalance. One reason is that polyunsaturated fats such as corn, soybean oil, sesame seed oil, and safflower oils are often used to fry foods and used in processed foods.

Omega-6s can cause harm because they can convert linoleic acid into arachidonic acid, a molecule that is known to increase inflammation. 

It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider for medical advice before taking these supplements. 

What is C15:0?

While omega-6 fatty acids at low levels may be essential, new science supports that a saturated fat, C15:0 has many more cellular benefits and has beneficial, antiinflammatory properties. C15:0 is emerging as the essential, essential fatty acid.C15:0 is an odd-chain saturated fat found in whole dairy products like whole fat milk and full fat butter. It’s easy to see why we aren’t getting much (if any) of this in our diets, since we’ve been vilifying all fats and especially saturated fats since the 1970s.

Science shows that C15:0 plays a crucial role in supporting cellular health and helping our cells fight against premature breakdown due to aging by:*†

  • Helping to support cellular structure. C15:0 helps strengthen cell membranes and serves as armor for your cells to fortify their overall structural function.
  • Boosting mitochondrial function. Your cells’ mitochondria are responsible for producing energy for the cell, which is essential for proper cell function. As we age, our mitochondria can become sluggish. C15:0 helps support mitochondrial health and function, keeping your cell’s powerplants properly working. 
  • Advancing cellular homeostasis. Part of aging means our immunity can become off-balance, and this usually starts at a cellular level. C15:0 promotes cellular health and calmer immunity, which can help bring your cells (and you) back into proper balance.
  • Improving red blood cell health. Your red blood cells have an important job; they carry oxygen from your lungs to all other parts of your body. C15:0 helps keep your red blood cells healthy and ready for oxygen-delivery action.
  • Supporting liver health. Your liver is one of your largest organs and a crucial part of your digestive system, but liver health can decline as we age. C15:0 is a fatty acid that helps support liver cells, thus supporting liver health and function, helping you maintain a healthy liver, for longer.
  • Supporting metabolic health. Many functions in your body are controlled by your metabolism. Science backs that C15:0 can support your metabolism, including helping you maintain healthy glucose and cholesterol levels.

Elevate your cells. Elevate your self.

Elevate your cells. Elevate your self.

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With all this good science behind it, you are likely ready to enjoy the benefits of C15:0. You may be concerned, however, about getting your C15:0 from whole fat milk and butter. Luckily, there’s a solution: fatty15.

Fatty15 contains FA15TM, the pure powder, vegan-friendly and award winning form of C15:0, available to you in a once daily capsule that is easy to take. Fatty15 is:

  • Odorless and tasteless. No fishy smell or taste here, unlike most fish oils and Omega-3 supplements.
  • Vegan. No animals were harmed in the making of our supplement; in fact, if you read here, you will learn that the discovery of C15:0 came from helping dolphins live healthier, longer., 
  • Allergen free.  Fatty15 contains only ingredient: FA15, a pure, powder form of C15:0. As such, fatty15 contains no gluten, vegetable oils, corn, genetically modified organisms, fillers, or soy.
  • Sustainable. Our top two priorities are your health and the Earth’s health, too. Our capsules come in a 90-day supply to cut down on packaging, shipping, and transport. When you receive your first order, you’ll receive a reusable glass bottle, so every time you get a new shipment in our eco-friendly packaging, you’ll simply use the same bottle. This eliminates the need for any plastics or trash. Even the bottle cap is crafted from bamboo, one of the fastest growing trees on the planet.

While all fats are no longer our enemy, we are having to learn how to be proactive in how we approach our healthy fatty acid intake.

In addition to ensuring we get enough high-quality omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in our Western diet, we should also consider the inclusion of C15:0, an odd-chain saturated fatty acid that science supports as the first essential fatty acid to be discovered in 90 years. Taking fatty15 daily offers the benefits of C15:0 to help you give your cells a fighting chance, and help you age on your own terms.*

Sources:

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/12/13/whats-on-your-table-how-americas-diet-has-changed-over-the-decades/

https://openheart.bmj.com/content/2/1/e000196

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4561623/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30608597/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18449139/

http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productid=107&pid=33&gid=000317

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170518140235.htm

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21929635/

Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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